Winters when I was a kid VS. winter now when I have a kid
Remember the days when you used to carelessly dance in rain and come home all soaked. First thing mom used to say “ go dry yourself up or you will fall sick”. In winter, when you decided to go to work with just one sweater, you ma will be ready with an additional jacket and a muffler at the door. Now that I am mom, just thinking about these precious moments brings nostalgia and I can feel my eyes getting moist. BIGGEST TRUTH: When you are a new mom every little thing that you overlooked or didn’t care about becomes something of colossal magnitude.
Facing New York winters as a first-time mother was one such thing for me. New York winters are harsh, crazy, unpredictable, and can be brutal. To top it all, there is a constant and crude assault of wind throughout the season. Despite knowing how harsh winters can be, I still wished my baby’s first winter to be magical with gazing at the snow while wrapped in cozy blankets. Being an Indian, I had no reference or anyone to consult with as to how should I prepare for winters? Secondly, I love being outdoors. I love taking my pup out for walks. Especially, being on sabbatical and taking care of a baby, my walks are my haven. They are my “Me time”, so thinking about spending almost 6 months indoor was too much for me. Hence, I started researching about how to keep my baby safe as well as have fun. So, all the new mothers out there, thinking the same thing or questioning themselves about how they will face their first winters? I hope this blog is helpful to them. I am not a doctor or a health professional. These are just my experiences as they worked for me. I always say every child is different and you can just try if it works for you.
How to keep baby safe during winters
How to Wrap Up Toddlers in Winters
When it comes to layering your child with clothes you always end up asking “How much is too much?”. Therefore, the following are two basic principles that suggested to me by my son’s pediatrician and these became my mantra during winters:
1) Dress your baby always in one layer extra than what you are wearing.
2) When going out a dress up your baby in the end. Meaning, get ready first because the baby can get overheated when you put all those extra layers on them. Infants can’t regulate their body temperature, so your makeup and dressing up first then comes baby’s jackets and jumpers in the end.
I was almost tempted to turn my little munchkin into an Eskimo. But I realized too many layers restrict the baby’s movement, which, further irritates them. So, the idea is to pick the fabric that is warm but not too thick. Undermentioned is my favorite combination for outdoors:
Full sleeve bodysuit vest + Full sleeve warm fleece jumper with footies + Fleece jacket with hoodie (Add this when it is peak winters) + Full downer Jumper with hoodie (to block the wind) + mittens along with a blanket.
Investing in a lot of fleece jumpers is one the smartest thing I did during winters because they are great indoors and outdoors. Always, carry an extra pair of everything if you are likely to be out for more than 2 hours.
Winter Bath & Skincare for Infants
If I should bathe my baby every day or not? This is another question every mom faces when they have an infant and especially, during winters. It’s okay to bathe your baby once in two or three days. Personally, I advocate massaging and bathing babies once a day. This is something I have learned from my mother. Your baby doesn’t need it but it will only do good and boost their immune system. Imagine, a relaxing massage with warm organic herbal oil followed by a warm bath… who can resist the relaxation that follows it. Though, be extremely careful about the time and temperature of the room along with water in which you are bathing your baby. Night bath rituals are great and help babies sleep better. But, if there is a sunny room where you can massage and bathe your baby, even that is a good idea. Plus, you can get some relaxing time for yourself during the day.
As far as products are concerned there are tons of options but Aquaphor has become my go-to brand when it comes to bathing and skincare. Especially, during peak winters if your baby develops dry skin or cracked lips. Why Aquaphor? The only downside of bathing your little baby every day is their skin loses moisture. I love how Aquaphor keeps my baby’s skin smooth and moist even after a bath, which a lot of famous brands were not able to do.
Winter Nourishment for Infants
My baby welcomed winter as we celebrated his six month birthday. It was an exciting time for all of us. He had just started discovering different tastes and textures of food. If your baby is under six months, obviously, his or her main meal is still breastmilk or formula. In case, you have started solids adding powdered nuts especially almonds to their diet can do wonders. Even dates are also a great option and are amazing in boosting immunity. All cultures have warm foods and soup recipes. Don’t forget to ask your mother or grandmother for secret recipes.
Nature is the best teacher that there is. Believing strongly in that I feel it is imperative to take babies out even in winters (not when there is weather advisory or any direct threat). An afternoon walk routine or whenever it suits you as per your schedule with a baby is a great way of introducing your little one with different facets of nature. If your baby is less than three months, I would not suggest it though. Being in the fresh air does great for both mom and babies. I have a simple logic, which again comes from my upbringing i.e. your baby should be taken to different atmospheres and natural habitats, so that their little bodies can get used to, plus, I have read in a lot of studies that more you are exposed to nature, less are the chances of developing allergies and breathing problem. But the question is how? It goes without saying the baby should be properly clothed. There are some amazing products available in the market and online to keep your baby covered. Following being the must-haves on my list if you are out.
Basically, a plastic sheet that covers the entire stroller and protects your little one from harsh and brutal winds. Make sure you invest in a good one and it fits properly, otherwise, the wind will blow the shield and there won’t be any protection from the weather just added frustration.
My baby loves to kick and play, so the initial gig with double blankets to cover him up didn’t last for long. Therefore, I strongly recommend bundle me for babies. It’s like a sleeping bag but for strollers. It keeps babies absolutely snug. They are a bit expensive but totally worth it. One suggestion, which, I am again stealing from my mom’s book is bought toddler size if you want it to ask for two seasons. Rest, nature take its course and let baby get acclimatized to the changing weather.
All in all, I hope this blog helps you and your little to enjoy their first winter. This has turned out to be one of my longest blogs ever because I wanted to cover all the aspects and I hope this read does that.
Stay warm and winters are just one more excuse to cuddle with your little cupcake.
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Categories: Baby care